Feature

When a state can’t commit to a capital.

The week's news at a glance.

India

EditorialKashmir Observer

Two state capitals are one too many, said the Kashmir Observer in an editorial. For more than a hundred years, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir—which encompasses the Indian part of divided Kashmir—has shuttled its provincial government back and forth between two cities. The capital is officially located in Srinigar in the summer and Jammu in the winter. Credit for this bright idea goes to a 19th-century maharajah who liked to summer in the cool mountains but couldn’t handle the snowy winters. So even today, files and papers and computers have to be boxed up and shipped from one office to the other, at great expense, twice a year. The massive move requires intense preparation, of course, so the government effectively “goes into a coma for about a month” before each move. That’s a lot of wasted time and money. Defenders say that having two capitals placates both the Muslim-dominated area around Srinigar and the mostly Hindu region around Jammu. Citizens in both areas are supposed to feel that the government is accessible to them. Only it’s not working. The Hindus are getting more militant with each passing year, while the Muslims feel a kinship with their brethren over in Pakistan. Any “emotional integration” between the two “is just a farce.” Can’t we end this “patently primitive tradition”?

Recommended

Inside Biden's call with Putin
Biden and Putin.
let's meet

Inside Biden's call with Putin

Chilean lawmakers legalize gay marriage
Same-sex marriage demonstrators in Santiago.
equalidad

Chilean lawmakers legalize gay marriage

Biden and Putin meet
Putin and Biden.
let's meet

Biden and Putin meet

India's proud tradition of celebrating multiculturalism is facing a crisis
The Indian flag.
Arun A.K.

India's proud tradition of celebrating multiculturalism is facing a crisis

Most Popular

The political risk in prosecuting an alleged shooter's parents
Karen McDonald.
Samuel Goldman

The political risk in prosecuting an alleged shooter's parents

Mace vs. Greene is the fight for the future of the GOP
Mace and Greene.
Picture of W. James Antle IIIW. James Antle III

Mace vs. Greene is the fight for the future of the GOP

Kathy Griffin slams CNN for firing her but not Jeffrey Toobin
Kathy Griffin
'I loved that gig'

Kathy Griffin slams CNN for firing her but not Jeffrey Toobin